The Week That Was
May 12 , 2007
The respected, non-partisan Congressional Budget Office tells the unpleasant facts about CO2 cap-and-trade schemes: higher energy costs and highly regressive (unless fixed), (ITEM #1). And current warming appears to be mostly natural!
Green hypocrisy reigns supreme. Politicians of both parties talk “green” but are reluctant to act. Maybe they know that the public may profess “green” until it comes to making sacrifices. (ITEM #2)
German professor plugs for more GW and CO2. It’s good for us and for bio-diversity. (ITEM #3)
Another upbeat account of the Vatican climate conference. Sonja Boehmer-Christensen, editor of Energy & Environment, reports. (ITEM #4)
A personal tribute to Chauncey Starr, founding president of EPRI, who died at 95 – one day after being honored by 200 admirers. (ITEM #5)
Chauncey was more than my friend -- for 40 years. He was also a role model and the source of sound advice as a board member of SEPP. I can honestly say that our program at SEPP was guided by his many suggestions -- both in science and policy. His passing is a great loss to our efforts but we will do our best to carry on in his spirit.
You can become a climatologist: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html
You might like this site by NOAA. Just put in (First year to display) to (Last year to display), pick [annual] for the period, and look at the temp trend. How can there be global warming if the US temp trend is currently falling? In fact, almost the entire temp rise from 1895 to 1998 has been erased since 1998.
Mars and Neptune seem to be warming like the Earth. Could it be the Sun? Watch GW alarmists turn into skeptics. But GW skeptics should be skeptical too: Correlation is not the same as Causation.
1. NEW CBO REPORT EXPOSES FAILURES OF CO2 CAP-AND-TRADE SCHEMES
"The CBO has revealed that a CO2 cap-and-trade allocation scheme will result in a transfer of wealth from poor to rich."
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today said the new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on proposed CO2 cap-and-trade legislation was a "devastating indictment." The CBO report laid out the negative impact a cap-and-trade system would have on Americans, in particular, the poor. The CBO report, titled "Trade-Offs in Allocating Allowances for CO2 Emissions," was released on April 25, 2007.
"The CBO report exposes what I have been saying all along: CO2 cap-and-trade schemes are an utter failure," Senator Inhofe said. "The CBO has revealed that a CO2 cap-and-trade allocation scheme will result in a transfer of wealth from poor to rich. The Democratic leadership has to explain why they are willing to line the pockets of their corporate friends at the expense of the working class.
"Far from being good for the economy, as advocates say, CO2 allocation schemes will disproportionately burden the poor, raise taxes, increase government spending, raise gas prices, raise home energy costs and decrease wages. It is hard to imagine the CBO issuing a more devastating indictment of proposed C02 cap-and-trade schemes. The CBO report should be viewed as a stern warning to our elected leaders to avoid symbolic solutions to an alleged climate ‘crisis’ that places the financial burden on America’s poor and working class.
"Today’s report confirms what Europe, Canada and many other nations have come to realize about C02 cap-and-trade schemes: The entire carbon debate has been skewed toward the least effective and most economically damaging of the various approaches.
"Today’s CBO report is the most recent analysis to show the folly of schemes like the Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto, if implemented, would result in the largest tax increase in the history of the U.S., costing an estimated $300 billion a year -- 10 times the cost of the Clinton-Gore tax increase of 1993. And even Kyoto proponents concede that it would have virtually no impact on the climate."
Excerpts from the CBO report (emphasis added):
"Regardless of how the allowances were distributed, most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would."
"The CBO noted that the proposed cap-and-trade allocation method "would increase producers’ profits without lessening consumers’ costs. In essence, such a strategy would transfer income from energy consumers, among whom lower income households would bear disproportionately large burdens to shareholders of energy companies, who are disproportionately higher-income households."
"Researchers conclude that much or all of the allowance cost would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Those price increases would disproportionately affect people at the bottom of the income scale. For example, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the price rises resulting from a 15 percent cut in CO2 emissions would cost the average household in the lowest one-fifth (quintile) of the income distribution about 3.3 percent of its average income. By comparison, a household in the top quintile would pay about 1.7 percent of its average income."
"A cap-and-trade program for CO2 emissions would tend to increase government spending and decrease revenues."
"The higher prices caused by the cap would lower real (inflation-adjusted) wages and real returns on capital, indirectly raising marginal tax rates on those sources of income."
To read the full CBO report, go to: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/80xx/doc8027/04-25-Cap_Trade..pdf
CBO: ‘Cap-and-Trade’ Program to Curb Global Warming Hurts Poor the Most
Posted by Noel Sheppard on April 26, 2007 - 11:28.
Here’s an extraordinarily inconvenient truth the press will likely not report: a “cap-and-trade” program designed to curb carbon emissions in order to "solve" global warming will negatively impact the poor the most. Think Charlie, Brian, and Katie will do a story on this tonight?
Regardless of the answer, the reality is that as folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his sycophant devotees recommend solutions to a conceivably nonexistent problem, few care to address the negative economic impact of such strategies.
Towards that goal, the Congressional Budget Office released a study on Wednesday that didn’t paint a very pretty picture of the financial ramifications of a cap-and-trade program proposed by Democrats .
Regardless of how the allowances were distributed, most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would.
Hmmm. So, poorer households would be the hardest hit by this scheme. Think this will be headline news? Yet, there was more in this report that likely will be ignored:
Any policy that reduced U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide would inevitably create costs for existing workers. Job losses could occur throughout the economy but would probably be especially large (in percentage terms) in industries associated with high-carbon fuels.
A cap-and-trade program for CO2 emissions would tend to increase government spending and decrease revenues. Like other consumers, the government would face higher prices for energy and other carbon-intensive goods and services. In addition, by leading to a decline in the production of such goods and services, the cap would cause a decline in the taxes collected on corporate profits. If the government wanted to provide the same level of services without increasing the budget deficit, it would have to either raise taxes or use part of the value of the allowances to cover the changes in federal outlays and revenues.
Hmmm. So, this scheme would increase unemployment, hurt the poor, result in higher taxes, drive up inflation, and increase budget deficits.
Any questions as to why this CBO report will likely get little airplay?
Green hypocrisy has become a bipartisan affair. Governors, mayors, senators, and just about every other politician are clamoring to “save the climate,” generally by schemes to control emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. But it’s all talk: they are never willing to act.
Take Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican Governor of California. He wants to cut CO2 emissions from automobiles. But instead of acting, he puts the burden on Detroit to come up with solutions that would raise the price of vehicles, decrease their safety, and may not even appeal to buyers. Yet if he really wanted to cut emissions, all he has to do is raise the state gasoline tax -- without permission from the federal government. But he won’t because he knows that drivers – just about everyone in California – would howl with indignation.
Yet the only sure way to decrease driving, enforce conservation, raise consumer demand for more efficient vehicles, and boost mass transit is to increase the price of motor fuels. I suggest a ”five by five” plan: a one-dollar increase per year over five years. At the same time the legislature could reduce income taxes and sales taxes to arrive at a revenue-neutral solution.
And here in Washington we have Barbara Boxer, Democratic Senator from California, and some of her cohorts. They keep complaining that George Bush is opposing the Kyoto Protocol, which would require the United States to reduce its emissions to below the 1990 level. They have somehow forgotten that in July 1997, 10 years ago, the US Senate voted unanimously against any such scheme. Yet the US government, at the behest of then Vice President Al Gore, signed the Kyoto Protocol. Bill Clinton never submitted it to the Senate for ratification and neither has George Bush.
But the Senate can act on its own, and see if ratification will pass with a two-thirds majority. The Senators who want emission control have not done that. They are aware that Kyoto would put a huge economic burden on the American consumer, but not on developing nations like China, India, Brazil, and Mexico. Industries would move and jobs would be lost. The cost of energy would rise, adding a further burden on the lowest-income population.
Perhaps they are also aware that controlling emissions would be futile unless the rest of the world goes along. Within a year or two, China will emit more carbon dioxide than the United States.
But the green politicians clamoring for action should also know that climate warming is most likely to benefit the economy, and therefore standard of living, rather than damage it. And most important, they should become aware that the current warming is mostly due to natural causes and therefore unstoppable. Cutting the emissions of carbon dioxide may slow down slightly its current rate of increase but it won’t have the slightest effect on the climate.
Atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and former director of the US Weather Satellite Service. His most recent book Unstoppable Global Warming--Every 1500 Years is on the NY Times best-seller list
3. WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE TROPICS
Prof. Josef Reichholf
Director, Zoology Division of the State Collection in Munich
Translated from “Der Spiegel”, May 7th, 2007
Quote: “It's nothing but fear-mongering, for which there is no concrete evidence. On the contrary, there is much to be said for the argument that warming temperatures promote biodiversity.” http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,481707,00.html
Josef Reichholf, 62, heads the Vertebrates Department at the National Zoological Collection in Munich, and teaches ecology and conservation at both of Munich's two universities. In his book, "Eine kurze Naturgeschichte des letzten Jahrtausends" ("A Short Natural History of the Last Millennium") (S. Fischer publishing house), Reichholf describes how the climate has fluctuated substantially in the past.
Spiegel: Mr. Reichholf, are you afraid of Global Warming?
Reichholf: No, I personally actually am looking forward to milder times. But also mankind as a whole will not encounter major problems from such warming.
Spiegel: What makes you such an optimist?
Reichholf: By far the largest part of mankind today already lives under warmer and often much more extreme conditions than we spoiled Central Europeans. Homo sapiens is the only biological species which can adapt to practically any type of climate – from the deserts to polar regions, from the humid tropics to the high plains of the Andes. Not even our closest culture creatures, the rats, have developed such adaptability in the course of evolution.
Spiegel: Which climate do humans enjoy most?
Reichholf: Biologically we are children of the tropics. Wherever man lives he creates artificially tropical living environments. We do this through warm clothing, heated offices and apartments. Under our shirts we experience constantly a tropical climate of around 27 degrees Celsius.
Spiegel: As an ecologist, are you at least concerned about animals and plants?
Reichholf: Certainly, many species are endangered – but not from climate change. The real danger arises from the destruction of living spaces, e.g. the unchecked deforestation of the biologically very diverse tropical forests. Especially as an environmentalist I find the focus on the greenhouse effect as very dangerous. The climate is increasingly being scapegoated so as to divert attention from other ecological misdeeds. A typical example is the disingenuous debate of flood water disasters, which in fact are traceable to build ups and developments along rivers and not to more extreme weather conditions, which we cannot change anyhow.
Spiegel: Where do you see the greatest dangers to plants and animals (flora and fauna)?
Reichholf: In our areas it is the industrial operation of agriculture, which is the number one killer of species. With their monocultures and over-fertilized fields farmers have reduced radically living conditions for many plants and animals. Many species already have fled from the countryside to the inner cities, which now have become refuges of biodiversity. By the way, here is another interesting observation: for decades now metropolises such as Hamburg, Berlin or Munich have formed heat islands with temperatures higher by two to three degrees than the surrounding countryside. If higher temperatures indeed were so bad, why is it that ever more animals and plants frolic in these inner cities?
Spiegel: And what is one to make of projections that due to Global Warming up to 30% of all animal species will be extinguished?
Reichholf: Nothing. This is alarmism, lacking any concrete evidence. On the contrary, a lot points to warming being good for biodiversity. There exists a clear link between biodiversity and temperature. From the polar regions through the temperate zones to the equator, the number of species increases exponentially. One can reduce this to one simple formula: the warmer a habitat is, the higher the number of species (biodiversity).
Spiegel: Are you saying that in the long run the greenhouse effect can actually contribute to increasing biodiversity of evolutionary biology
Reichholf: Exactly. And this is also evident from evolutionary biology. At the end of the Tertiary, millions of years ago, when it was much warmer than today, biodiversity reached a climax. Totally different were developments when the Earth cooled with the advent of ice ages: particularly in the North mass extinctions resulted. By the way, this also explains why we in Europe have such a high capacity to absorb species from warmer regions – in our species-poor landscape one finds many unused ecological niches.
Spiegel: Global Warming for you implies more flowering landscapes on the planet?
Reichholf: Indeed. With warming many species acquire new living spaces. In the aggregate the balance is clearly favorable – assuming we do not destroy such newly opened living spaces with other interventions into nature. It is not by accident that the “Red List” of endangered species in Germany mostly consists of warm climate lovers. Many of these would be given new chances to survive in our latitudes.
Spiegel: Don’t you underestimate the high speed of the current Global Warming? Many animals and plants cannot adapt that quickly to such a rapidly changing climate.
Reichholf: Against this assertion stands the fact that much larger climate changes occurred in the past than today – without such changes leading to a global extinction of species. As a biologist, I am telling you: few animals and plants are bound to rigid climate conditions. Take for example our small Zaunkönig: many believe this guy to be some oversensitive home-buddy. In fact he lives as well in Stockholm as in Munich or Rome; he even lives high up in the Alps near the tree line. Only where you don’t find any trees or brushes will you also miss Zaunkönige.
Spiegel: But undoubtedly there are animals that can exist only in very narrow climate niches. E.g. how could the polar bear survive Global Warming?
Reichholf: Then I ask the counter-question: how did the polar bear survive the last warm period? Maybe Knut (the Berlin Zoo polar bear cub of late) is an exception; but in the wilderness polar bears do not survive licking ice cones. His main food is seals – and these are slaughtered by the tens of thousands every Spring by Canadians. That’s why Polar bears suffer, not because of warming. Take for example the brown bears: these inhabit a vast area extending from Europe via the Middle East and Far East all the way to Canada and the USA. Whether the bears survive depends on the humans, not on climate.
Spiegel: Does there exist no animal or plant species that would be endangered by Global Warming?
Reichholf: Trying as hard as I may, none occurs to me. There exist some Strudelwürmer (bubble worms), which can exist only in frigid bubbling water springs. Where these springs warm up, these creatures indeed seem to disappear. But this can also be a fluke: the most closely related worms of this species can endure a much wider temperature spectrum.
Spiegel: On the other side, do we have to fear that malaria will return to our areas because of warming?
Reichholf: This is another one of these legends. Many people indeed believe that malaria will spread with increased warming. Yet malaria is not a purely tropical disease: in the 19th century thousands died of malaria in Europe, also in Germany, the Netherlands and even Scandinavia, although they had never left these countries; in earlier centuries this disease was widely spread throughout Middle- and Northern Europe. Only through isolation of the sick, better hygiene, and drying up of swamps was malaria extinguished here. Based on this, I think it nearly impossible that malaria will return to our lands just because of climate change. If malaria occurs here it must have been imported from somewhere.
Spiegel: Why has the dogma been established that we have to be afraid of warmer times?
Reichholf: This is also a puzzle for me. Up to the 60’s men were afraid of a new Ice Age – and this would indeed be a great peril for us. Because times of weather decline were times of disasters, not times of warmer climate. Precisely to support a growing population on our planet we have to wish for a warmer climate – as in warmer regions it takes much less effort to survive safely.
Interviewed by Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufetter.
Not the End of the World as We Know It
How bad is climate change really? Are catastrophic floods and terrible droughts headed our way? Despite widespread fears of a greenhouse hell, the latest computer simulations are delivering far less dramatic predictions about tomorrow's climate.
Germany could experience a tourist boom as a result of climate change.
Svante Arrhenius, the father of the greenhouse effect, would be called a heretic today. Far from issuing the sort of dire predictions about climate change which are common nowadays, the Swedish physicist dared to predict a paradise on earth for humans when he announced, in April 1896, that temperatures were rising -- and that it would be a blessing for all.
Arrhenius, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, calculated that the release of carbon dioxide -- or carbonic acid as it was then known -- through burning coal, oil and natural gas would lead to a significant rise in temperatures worldwide. But, he argued, "by the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates," potentially making poor harvests and famine a thing of the past.
Arrhenius was merely expressing a view that was firmly entrenched in the collective consciousness of the day: warm times are good times; cold times are bad.
During the so-called Medieval Warm Period between about 900 and 1300 A.D., for example, the Vikings raised livestock on Greenland and sailed to North America. New cities were built all across Europe, and the continent's population grew from 30 million to 80 million.
The consequences of the colder temperatures that plunged civilization into the so-called Little Ice Age for several centuries after 1300 were devastating. Summers were rainy, winters cold, and in many places temperatures were too low for grain crops to mature. Famines and epidemics raged, and average life expectancy dropped by 10 years. In Germany, thousands of villages were abandoned and entire stretches of land depopulated.
The shock produced by the cold was as deep-seated it was long-lasting. When temperatures plunged unexpectedly once again in the 1960s, many meteorologists were quick to warn people about the coming of a new ice age -- supposedly triggered by man-made air pollution. Hardly anyone at the time believed a warming trend could pose a threat.
It was not until the rise of the environmental movement in the 1980s that everything suddenly changed. From then on it was almost a foregone conclusion that global warming could only be perceived as a disaster for the earth's climate. Environmentalists, adopting a strategy typical of the Church, have been warning us about the horrors of greenhouse gas hell ever since -- painting it as a punishment for the sin of meddling with creation. What was conveniently ignored, however, is that humanity has been reshaping the planet for a very long time, first by clearing forests and plowing fields, and later by building roads, cities and factories.
In the age of climate change, it has become a popular social pastime to scour the weather forecast for omens of doom. Has it ever been as hot in April as it is this year? Is this lack of rain normal? Could all this mean that the end is nigh? Nowadays hardly anyone dares to question the increasingly shrill warnings about our climate, as more and more people jump on the hand-wringing bandwagon.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, for example, recently said that climate change poses at least as big a danger to the world as war. German Chancellor Angela Merkel agrees, calling developments "more than alarming," and asking: "Are we willing to accept the fact that we now have completely unprecedented weather phenomena, such as tropical nights in the Harz (Mountains) region?" The fact that tropical nights, as every meteorologist knows, are nothing new in Germany -- every summer has always had a few -- seems to have escaped her attention.
The apocalyptic mood seems to grow each time the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases a new section of its climate change report. Climate hysteria appears to be more contagious than a flu epidemic. "We only have 13 years left to save the earth," screamed a recent front-page headline in the German tabloid Bild. "If mankind is unable to stop the greenhouse effect by the year 2020, it will bring about its own demise -- and a horribly tortured one at that."
4. REPORT FROM THE VATICAN CLIMATE CONFERENCE APRIL 25-26, 2007
by Sonja Boehmer-Christensen
1. The main diplomatic aim of the UK was clear from [Secretary of State for environment] David Miliband's performance - to protect and encourage the struggling carbon market. His message was: Act speedily now before it is too late and do not allow a 'gap' to appear in emission trading.
He was not at all happy about my question what the UK hoped to gain from the 'combat against GW'.
2. Miliband finished his speech with an observation from World Wildlife Fund : "They have calculated that if everyone in the world were to consume natural resources and generate carbon dioxide at the rate we do in the UK, we'd need three planets to support (us). We are depleting our natural resources at a faster rate then we are replenishing them". The man must be ignorant, environmentally speaking. Even my third-year students laughed at the replenishing and had no idea how WWF reached that number. (But many church people liked the idea of reducing (over)consumption - the other side of serving the poor?)
3. The Vatican's objective was less clear. There is clearly a policy and doctrinal debate going on inside the Vatican, with the Pope coming under pressure to join 'Al Gore' and the World Council of Churches to pronounce an encyclical on combating global warming. He is resisting and, according to one insider, unlikely to give in, though a general statement on our responsibility to look after God's creation and use nature rationally is likely. The last Pope wasn't much interested in greenery either, but in 1990 coined the term ecological conversion, which was mentioned by several speakers.
4. Raul Estrada-Oyuela (chief UNFCC/Kyoto Protocol negotiator) had an interesting position that seriously challenged that of the UK. After pointing out that Kyoto was about emission reduction, not the creation of a market for a new commodity (carbon), he stated that " the main purpose, mitigation, cannot be adjusted to serve the interests of merchants and dealers. The overarching guidance is preserving the creation and (that) may be translated in this case as climate environmental integrity" (.....Whatever that is..). There was no rush to complete complex negotiations about the future of Kyoto.
He also said "emission trading is a fiasco in Europe..." and suggested new Protocols to the climate convention not based on national but sectoral targets as a way forward. There will be no giving in by USA and Australia, or the industrialising countries (who see targets as brakes on development) to EU/UK demands.
He would rather have a gap in commitments (after 2012 when current commitment period of Kyoto ends) than satisfy the 'carbon market', which is of course just what the UK and World Bank want to protect, see their current campaign, e.g. at UN Security Council, G8, even involving the Royal Society (not to mention the BBC),. the whole establishment is 'on message.' In my view they - the finished Blair Government, but no change in sight with Al Gore advising Brown - are overdoing it to their own detriment. (Did you know that Al Gore believes in Creationism, or at least is reported to have said so when meeting some religious groups last week.) Raul spoke late on the second day , however.
5. But first came the scientists, with Prof. A. Zichichi of CERN /World Federation of Scientists, later supported by other Italian scientists and Fred Singer) who completely rubbished the climate models and in effect removed the status of science from meteorology. Zichichi was followed by Rahmstorf (Berlin) who gave the 'consensus' IPCC line. He disappeared soon afterwards and did not engage with his critics, just handed out a ‘fact' sheet with the hockeystick etc.
The World Council of Churches was visibly appalled by this science challenge, as were the Anglican bishops (Liverpool). “We were not consulted about the people invited here and shall protest,” one of them confided to me. Another later challenged my academic credentials. Yet the US Evangelicals were represented by a serious scientifically literate 'sceptic' (Calvin Beisner).
The green lobby inside the Churches, seemingly strongest in Africa ('you made the mess, now pay for it'), Germany (‘catastrophe is nigh, but we may yet save creation..’) and the UK (‘we must aid Africa, not to save the planet would be sinful’), was very disturbed to have to listen to so many science 'deniers'. Others seemed worried about the implications of all this environmentalism for Man's relationship with God, something I have no views on or knowledge of, other than sensing that the 'deification' of Nature was a doctrinal worry.
But we had to listen to the AGW believers in turn and at length; there were some very good sermons pulling at all heart strings. Australian bishop Christopher Toohey was the peace-maker and spoke last...’we must help the poor whether the climate is changing or not.’ So I even discussed the question of immortality, but this was over breakfast.
Indeed, all positions were justified with reference to the poor. Is this new in world/church politics?
My arrogant impression was that too many of the church representatives present while of 'good will' and obviously lovely, caring people, were illiterate scientifically and in development economics.
I should mention that I was allowed three 'interventions,' one quite long, to explain my political analysis of why the EU was so keen on climate alarmism. Eager to find substitutes for carbon fuels, which it is running out of or has 'closed' (the coal mines), it was using the climate threat, suitably exaggerated, to ensure that the burden of this conversion to a low-carbon economy was spread globally to avoid 'competitiveness' problems and also, to encourage private money flow to the 'South'..but with what effect and expectations? Energy-intensive industries are already moving to China, the main beneficiary by far from the Kyoto-CDM scheme.
5. CHAUNCEY STARR, EPRI FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITUS, DIES AT 95
Palo Alto, Calif. - April 18, 2007 - Dr. Chauncey Starr, 95, founder and
President Emeritus of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), died
yesterday in his home in Atherton, Calif., one day after attending a
celebration in his honor at the Institute that was attended by more than
200 of his research colleagues.
Starr's life-long conviction that science and technology should play an
important role in increasing quality of life ultimately led to his
pioneering work at EPRI. Following a distinguished career in industry,
academia, and government, which included seminal work in both nuclear
power and risk assessment, Starr formed EPRI in 1972 as a research and
development organization to address the challenges faced by the electric
Starr believed that a collaborative research approach could most
effectively address the industry's challenges. By designing the research
and development process to take advantage of the knowledge and
experience of technical advisors from public and private utilities, and
tapping into the talents and intellectual excellence at research
institutions around the world, EPRI could marshal the best team possible
for resolving a particular issue. As such, over the course of 35 years,
EPRI has institutionalized Starr's collaborative vision and spirit to
become a valued and versatile technical resource for the industry.
At the celebration Monday, Starr commented on his status as EPRI's
President Emeritus, referring to the word "Emeritus" as academic speak
for a "has-been." To those who knew him, nothing could be further from
the truth. At the time of his death, Starr was actively working on
projects involving risk-based decision analysis of nuclear plant
investments and the development of the "SuperGrid" utilizing
superconductors to transport electricity with near-zero energy losses.
Starr's brilliance and innovative ideas were globally recognized. He was
regularly consulted for his insightful opinions on energy issues by
world leaders, scientists and energy policy makers.
He published more than 400 technical and scientific articles. He
received numerous honors, including the following recognitions:
* Arthur M. Bueche Award (2006): Awarded by the National Academy of
Engineering of the National Academies, for leadership in the development
of nuclear power, contributions to the creation of the field of risk
analysis, and leadership in electric power R&D as the founding president
* George C. Laurence Pioneering Award (2006): Awarded by the American
Nuclear Society for outstanding pioneering contributions to nuclear
* The National Medal of Technology (1990): Awarded by then President
George H.W. Bush for contributions to engineering and the electric
* United States Energy Award (1990): Awarded by the United States Energy
Association for long-term contributions to energy and to international
* Rockwell Medal (1988): Awarded by the International Technology
Institute for excellence in technology and contributions to the
betterment of mankind
Prior to establishing EPRI, Chauncey Starr was dean of the UCLA School
of Engineering and Applied Science (1966-1973). While at UCLA, he
directed a research effort on societal safety in technical systems. This
work led to a paper titled "Social Benefits versus Social Risks,"
published in the journal Science in 1969. That paper is widely
considered the starting point of the formal technical field of risk
And prior to UCLA, Starr had a 20-year industrial career, during which
he served as Vice President of Rockwell International and founded and
became President of its Atomics International Division.
During World War II, Starr worked with physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer
for the Manhattan Engineering District at the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., focusing on isotope separation
technology. Following World War II, he pioneered the development of
nuclear reactor designs, including the first non-military reactor, and
the first reactor in space.
Starr earned an electrical engineering degree in 1932 and a Ph.D. in
physics in 1935 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He
then became a research fellow in physics at Harvard University.
Starr was a member and past Vice President of the National Academy of
Engineering, and a founder and past President of the American Nuclear
Society. He is also a member and past Director of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, a Foreign Member of the
Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and an Officer of the
French Legion of Honor.