Archive for April, 2012
As the wheels are falling off the global warming bandwagon, Obama will double down?
By Ben German
President Obama is vowing to make the case for action on global warming during the 2012 campaign.
“I suspect that over the next six months, this is going to be a debate that will become part of the campaign, and I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we’re going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way,” Obama told Rolling Stone magazine in a newly published interview.
Obama’s comments follow a first term that saw global warming legislation collapse in Congress but several administrative steps to address climate proceed, such as tougher auto mileage rules and first-time greenhouse gas standards for new power plants.
Read the rest at the Hill.
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By Ian Johnston
James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his “Gaia” theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being “alarmist” about climate change and says other environmental commentators, such as Al Gore, were too.
Lovelock, 92, is writing a new book in which he will say climate change is still happening, but not as quickly as he once feared.
He previously painted some of the direst visions of the effects of climate change. In 2006, in an article in the U.K.’s Independent newspaper, he wrote that “before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.”
However, the professor admitted in a telephone interview with msnbc.com that he now thinks he had been “extrapolating too far.”
Read the rest at MSNBC.com
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By Paul Chesser
Despite a new report out of the United Kingdom that says the future of the business is bleak without government subsidies, a three-year-old unprofitable electric truck company that received $32 million in U.S. taxpayer stimulus plans to raise more money via an initial public offering.
Kansas City-based Smith Electric Vehicles was launched in January 2009, and despite its lack of track record and the inexperience of its leadership, the Department of Energy awarded the company $10 million in August 2009, and an additional $22 million in March 2010, for an electric truck demonstration program. The company was little more than a spinoff of a failed U.K. operation with the same name, owned by a troubled parent company called The Tanfield Group. In July 2008 – largely because of Smith-UK’s shortcomings – Tanfield’s stock price “collapsed” (scroll down at link) and was harming other holdings of its founder, Roy Stanley.
Smith-UK’s electric truck venture, part of the “green” energy economy euphoria that swept Europe, once received praise from luminaries such as former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who called Tanfield “UK manufacturing innovation at its best.” But soon afterward media discovered that customers for the electric trucks were sparse, and investors wondered whether the company was “more hype than reality.”
A study commissioned by the U.K. Department of Transport confirms the industry was unworthy of the publicity it received. British consulting firm Element Energy examined the total costs of ownership of low emission vans, in light of the government’s plans (implemented in February) to extend its Plug-In Car Grant program to electric trucks. It found that for electric trucks to make economic sense, government would need to provide grants indefinitely in order to compete with diesel-powered vehicles.
Read the rest at National Legal and Policy Center.
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By Paul Bedard
In an unprecedented slap at NASA’s endorsement of global warming science, nearly 50 former astronauts and scientists–including the ex-boss of the Johnson Space Center–claim the agency is on the wrong side of science and must change course or ruin the reputation of the world’s top space agency.
Challenging statements from NASA that man is causing climate change, the former NASA executives demanded in a letter to Administrator Charles Bolden that he and the agency “refrain from including unproven remarks” supporting global warming in the media.
“We feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate,” they wrote. “At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.”
Read the rest at the Washigton Examiner.
See the press release, full text of the letter and all signers at CFACT.
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The president’s green energy policies don’t add up
By Donald J Bourdreaux
Speaking recently at America’s largest solar energy plant — in Boulder City, Nev. — President Obama insisted that green energy is so important, “You’d think that everybody would be supportive of solar power. And yet, if some politicians have their way, there won’t be any more public investment in solar energy.”
Indeed. And judging from the recent actions of Obama’s Commerce Department, the president himself is among those politicians.
The Commerce Department has decided to impose tariffs ranging from 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent on subsidized Chinese solar panels that are imported into the U.S.
It takes remarkable cheek for Obama to insist that, while American “public investment” in green energy is virtuous, Chinese “public investment” in green energy is vile.
Not that opposition to subsidies for solar and other “green” energies is to be lamented. Quite the opposite. Politicians have no expertise at forecasting consumers’ energy needs or identifying how best to meet those needs. And the fact that the money politicians spend to promote green-energy firms comes from taxpayers further reduces the likelihood that such subsidies will yield positive payoffs for the general public.
In a sane world, Obama would celebrate Beijing’s subsidies to Chinese solar panel exporters. Those subsidies supply Americans with the alleged benefits of artificially low-priced solar panels, but on China’s nickel!
Read the rest at the Daily.
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By Joel Gehrke
In keeping with the recent trend of so-called green companies going into the red, another solar energy company supported by President Obama’s top administration officials declared bankruptcy today.
Solar Trust for America received $2.1 billion in conditional loan guarantees from the Department of Energy — “the largest amount ever offered to a solar project,” according to Energy Secretary Steven Chu — for a project near Blythe, Calif., but declared bankruptcy within a year. It is unclear how much of the guarantee, if any, was actually awarded.
Read the rest at the Washington Examiner.
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