New Data Show Emissions Cuts Unnecessary

New Data Show Emissions Cuts Unnecessary
January 27, 2012

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

Climate Change Weekly #36

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions continue to track lower than year 2000 levels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on January 23, extending this century’s downward trend in U.S. emissions. The new data rebut assertions that the United States needs to impose new restrictions on coal-fired power plants and other sources of carbon dioxide emissions.

The primary reason for emissions remaining on a downward trajectory this century is the increasing number of natural gas-fired power plants. U.S. power plants currently produce 50 percent more power from natural gas than during the year 2000.

The EIA data reveal three important lessons for our energy economy and global warming concerns:

1. Free markets work. Private-sector entrepreneurs and corporations, working in their own financial self-interest, discovered the natural gas and developed the technologies to recover it in an economically productive manner. Top-down government restrictions that stifle economic activity are not the sole or most desirable means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions even if we accept for the sake of argument the assertion that humans are creating a global warming crisis.

2. Anti-fracking activists are endangering human health and the environment. Natural gas power emits merely 20 percent of the carbon monoxide of coal power, 20 percent of the nitrogen oxides of coal power, less than 1 percent of the sulfur dioxide of coal power, less than 1 percent of the particulate matter of coal power, and less than 1 percent of the mercury of coal power. These improvements are in addition to cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent. Far from protecting human health and the environment, assaults on natural gas fracking are shutting down a vital source of environmental improvement.

3. There is no need for federal or state restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. Although global carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise rapidly, U.S. emissions continue their twenty-first century decline. Global emissions have risen by 25 percent since 2000, while U.S. emissions have declined.

SOURCE: Forbes.com


IN THIS ISSUE

Scientists’ letter says no need to panic … Ocean temps continue to defy models … Extreme cold threatens Alaska crab harvest … Gore group to see Antarctic cooling firsthand … Pew poll shows science winning out … Ford withdraws from Climate Action Partnership … Global warming fuels child sex trade … Hansen reasserts “crimes against humanity” … Climatewiki update


SCIENTISTS’ LETTER SAYS NO NEED TO PANIC

Sixteen scientists have written an article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal explaining why there is no need to panic about global warming. The scientists also take issue with the myth of scientific consensus on the issue. “A candidate for public office … should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true,” the scientists write.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal


OCEAN TEMPS CONTINUE TO DEFY MODELS

Ocean temperatures are rising at a pace much slower than alarmist computer models predict. Moreover, the pace of temperature increase is slowing down rather than accelerating, pouring cold water on claims that global warming is becoming worse than previously thought.

SOURCE: Watts Up With That?


EXTREME COLD THREATENS ALASKA CRAB HARVEST

The hit television show “Deadliest Catch” may have to be renamed “Coldest Catch” as an unusually early extension of polar ice into the Bering Sea is threatening to prematurely shut down this year’s crabbing season.

SOURCE: Anchorage Daily News


GORE GROUP TO SEE ANTARCTIC COOLING FIRSTHAND

Prominent global warming alarmists Al Gore, James Hansen, and Kevin Trenberth will be leading more than 100 tourists on a cruise to Antarctica next week to highlight the effects of global warming. The only problem is Antarctica is in both a long-term and short-term cooling trend that is resulting in expanding sea ice.

SOURCES: E&E News, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Watts Up With That?


PEW POLL SHOWS SCIENCE WINNING OUT

Fewer Americans than ever believe global warming should be a top policy priority, according to the Pew Research Center’s annual poll on public policy priorities. Global warming ranks dead last among 22 public policy priorities, with only 25 percent of Americans surveyed saying it should be a top priority. As recently as 2007, 38 percent of Americans considered global warming a top policy priority.

SOURCE: Pew Research Center


FORD WITHDRAWS FROM CLIMATE ACTION PARTNERSHIP

Ford Motor Company, which once stood out among U.S. car manufacturers for its global warming advocacy, has announced it is withdrawing from the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. BP, Caterpillar, ConocoPhilips, John Deere, and General Motors also have withdrawn recently from the coalition of groups advocating government restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions.

SOURCE: Third Lens Media


GLOBAL WARMING FUELS CHILD SEX TRADE

Just when you thought you heard it all, global warming activists are now claiming that global warming is causing children to be sold as sex slaves.

SOURCE: Green Answers


HANSEN REASSERTS ‘CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY’

Goddard Institute scientist and prominent global warming alarmist James Hansen told the U.K. Guardian that people asserting humans are not causing a global warming crisis are “guilty of crimes against humanity.” Longstanding international precedent holds that persons convicted of crimes against humanity are typically sentenced to death.

SOURCE: The Guardian


CLIMATEWIKI UPDATE

The Heartland Institute has created a Web site, ClimateWiki.org, to help everyone – from high school students to scientists working in the field – quickly find the latest and most reliable information on climate science. Please send your questions, suggestions for new pages, or improvements to current ones to climatewiki@heartland.org. And if you have new research to share, ClimateWiki.org is the perfect place.

An example from ClimateWiki, Sea-level rise, reads in part:

According to Church et al. (2011), “in the last two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments, the sum of observed contributions to sea-level rise has consistently been less than the observed rise over multi-decadal periods, thus reducing confidence in the sea-level projections.” Noting that Earth’s sea-level and energy budgets are closely related and must be solved in a consistent manner, the authors considered them together, tracking changes from 1972 to 2008. They found “the observed sea-level rise (1.8 ± 0.2 mm/year from tide gauges alone and 2.1 ± 0.2 mm/year from a combination of tide gauges and altimeter observations) agrees well with the sum of energy budget contributions (1.8 ± 0.4 mm/year) in magnitude and with both having similar increases in the rate of rise during the period.” It appears the mean rate-of-rise of Earth’s oceans has remained remarkably constant ever since 1972.

If you have questions about the ClimateWiki or about The Heartland Institute, contact Jim Lakely, director of communications, at jlakely@heartland.org or call 312/377-4000.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)