Political Climate
May 21, 2007
Don’t Be Very Worried

Environmentally speaking, America has had a very good third of a century; the economy has grown and pollutants and their impacts upon society are substantially down. But now comes the carbon dioxide alarm. CO2 is not a pollutant--indeed it is vital for plant growth--but the annual amount released into the atmosphere has increased 40% since 1970. This increase is blamed by global warming alarmists for a great many evil things. The Web site for Al Gore’s new film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” claims that because of CO2’s impact on our atmosphere, sea levels may rise by 20 feet, the Arctic and Antarctic ice will likely melt, heat waves will be “more frequent and more intense,” and “deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years--to 300,000 people a year.”

If it all sounds familiar, think back to the 1970s. After the first Earth Day the New York Times predicted “intolerable deterioration and possible extinction” for the human race as the result of pollution. Harvard biologist George Wald predicted that unless we took immediate action “civilization will end within 15 to 30 years,” and environmental doomsayer Paul Ehrlich predicted that four billion people--including 65 million American--would perish from famine in the 1980s.

So what is the reality about global warming and its impact on the world? A new study released this week by the National Center for Policy Analysis, “Climate Science: Climate Change and Its Impacts” (www.ncpa.org/pub/st/st285) looks at a wide variety of climate matters, from global warming and hurricanes to rain and drought, sea levels, arctic temperatures and solar radiation. It concludes that “the science does not support claims of drastic increases in global temperatures over the 21rst century, nor does it support claims of human influence on weather events and other secondary effects of climate change.”See full story here

May 18, 2007
In Case You Mised It- Ethanol’s Bitter Taste

By Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2007

It was a scant two years ago that Georgia’s Saxby Chambliss voted with 73 other giddy senators for an energy bill that required the nation to use 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol. Georgia’s farmers loved corn-based ethanol; Georgia’s agri-businesses loved corn-based ethanol; and all that meant that then-Agriculture Committee Chairman Chambliss loved corn-based ethanol, too.

Earlier this year, Mr. Chambliss introduced a bill calling for even greater ethanol use, though with one striking difference: The bill caps the amount of that fuel that can come from corn. Turns out Georgia’s chicken farmers hate corn-based ethanol; Georgia’s pork producers hate corn-based ethanol; Georgia’s dairy industry hates corn-based ethanol; Georgia’s food producers hate corn-based ethanol; Georgia’s hunters hate corn-based ethanol. And all that means Mr. Chambliss has had to find a new biofuels religion.  The shine is off corn ethanol, and oh, what a comedown it has been. See full story on US Senate EPW Minority Blog

May 17, 2007
U.S. House Democrats Concerned Warming Bill May Harm Jobs and Economy

Ben Geman, Environment & Energy Daily, 16 May 2007

Nearly 20 House Democrats from largely oil-and-gas producing states penned a letter to their leadership yesterday in an attempt to make sure climate change legislation does not lower energy supplies or increase prices. Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), who coordinated the effort, told E&E Daily the lawmakers “want a seat at the table” when climate policy is crafted.

“If our climate change policy leads to gasoline or natural gas supply disruptions and price spikes, consumers and voters will question that policy,” wrote the House members from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Colorado, Utah, Arkansas, Georgia and Hawaii. The letter links high natural gas prices in recent years to job losses in the manufacturing sector. “I want to make sure that whatever we do, we address global warming and still realize we need to run our vehicles and cool and heat our homes,” Green said in the interview. See full story here

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